I left early this morning from Mike’s to get a jump on the day, and to make the 22 mile run to the highway while the mud and clay was still hard from the freezing night before. So I had a hearty breakfast, said adios to Amarta, Matambo, the rancho and the dogs, and headed out. As it tends to be, the anxiety I had about the perceived difficulty I built up was unfounded. I was restless last night thinking about the cataclysmic possibilities on the ride out but the way was easier on the way out (due to descending rather than climbing) and I had plenty of gas. It was a blissfully uneventful ride out of Mike’s and I got the highway in good shape, a much more seasoned off-roader.
Because I deflated the tires to a low psi for rough dirt roads, once on the highway I had to inflate the tires and so had a good reason to break out my tire pump. So I pulled off the highway and got out my tire gear and expanded my “knowledge base” a bit more. It worked beautifully and it’s something I’ll carry with me in my car when I’m not carrying it on my bike. It’s the size of a small paperback book, weighs virtually nothing, and plugs right into your cigarette lighter. Pretty cool. So then after hitting Valle de Trinidad for needed gasoline, I raced off for Ensenada.
I got into Ensenada around lunchtime and found my way to an internet café where I did some emailing and posted the last few day’s posts. I called mom and got updated about grandma and after hearing she’s still hanging in there, decided to keep heading south. Getting out of Ensenada and onto the open highway was a huge relief. There’s something about riding a motorcycle into that openness that feeds my soul, and being on my own on that bike is unlike anything else. Soul food. I guess that’s explanation enough.
I got into San Quintin around 4pm, my cut-off time for the day. So I rode around a bit and somehow missing the Old Mill Hotel, found the Hotel Uruapan. So I unloaded my gear and took the bike over to a hose and spent a good while giving it a good cleaning. A lesson that mountain guiding taught me is that you take care of your gear; take care of your gear and your gear takes care of you. So I broke out my trusty hankerchief (one of the key pieces of equipment I have) and washed the bike, saddlebags, everything. It was gratifying to connect that way with my past, and the bike, and where I’ve been. Having cleaned my gear, and then my face – it was black with road grunge – I headed out to find a taqueria. Near the hotel I found one and sat down, ravaging through three tacos and a Fresca. After dinner I swung by a mercado and bought some “essentials.”
I hope to get to the Sea of Cortez tomorrow at Santa Rosalia. I have been amazed at how cold it is here and thankful I brought jeans and some warmer clothes. I had considered a lot less! So I’m holding out for a warmer climate farther south. And the pictures and descriptions of Mulege and Loreto are whetting my appetite to stay in one place for a bit and soak in the place.
I have been reading Rumi on this trip and deeply moved by his poems. Here is one I have found both in this book and in a card I gave Heather recently:
Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument. Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.